Mayor Supports Drug Testing for Inmates
VOL. XVIII NO. 4 (Nov 1-7, 2014)
BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan has expressed his support to a mandatory drug testing for inmates of the city’s Jail Facility here during talks with the City Justice Peace and Order Council (CJPOC) this week.
Domogan said, “drug testing must be done for inmates to send a clear message that drug misuse is not tolerated and those who use them have a greater risk of being caught.”
“It will be a big deterrent for inmates inside the correctional facility to let their visitors and friends sneak-in illegal drugs if there is mandatory drug testing,” he said.
City jail officials said mandatory drug testing in jail is a good program but at the moment, the fund for its implementation is still unsure.
Baguio City Jail Wardress Mary Ann Tresmanio raised concern on who would shoulder the costs for mandatory drug testing stating that tests can range from P300.00 to P350.00 per person.
Despite this, she said they are intensifying their search and apprehension of persons who smuggle illegal drugs and substances inside jail.
The Committee suggested that in order to save on costs for mandatory drug testing, jail officials should coordinate with the city’s Crime Laboratory for possible program support.
Domogan also said, “it will find out in next year’s budget if costs for the tests can be accommodated by the city government.”
It can be recalled that a Bill authored by Rep. Samuel Pagdilao of Party List group ACT-CIS (Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support) has been approved recently by the House Committee on dangerous drugs chaired by Iligan City Representative Vicente Belmonte, Jr. that would require drug testing among convicts, parolees, probationers and arrested suspects.
The measure would require all prisoners, parolees and probationers to drug testing every six months to ensure that they are free from illegal drugs.
HB 2777 which seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2012 when passed, will mandate the Department of Health or its accredited hospitals and laboratories to do the required drug tests./Paul Rillorta